by Caroline Cox
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Justice Wilhelmina Marie Wright to fill an upcoming vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Since 2012, Justice Wright has served as an Associate Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Months after its opening session, the U.S. Senate made its first judicial confirmation of the year on Monday. In a unanimous vote, the Senate confirmed Alfred Bennett to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. As the Houston Chronicle reports, however, there are still at least two other pending confirmation votes for Texas federal judges.
The blog for People for the American Way provides commentary on the first judicial confirmation vote. While the confirmation should be celebrated, the post argues, the delay in reaching this point shows how dysfunctional the confirmation process has become.
There are currently 54 vacancies, and 23 are now considered judicial emergencies. There are 18 pending nominees. For more information see judicialnominations.org.